Airport Express Madness

Hey all,

So we've got a very basic wifi network setup which consists of about a dozen Airport Express APs spread out throughout the facility.

For some reason, they lock up all the time. I came in this morning to find each and every one of them offline. Our power supply is generally pretty reliable and doesn't cause a lot of spikes or surges. We've got a solid wired network.

When the APs lock up, the light on them remains green, not orange. But they're not pingable, and they won't allow anyone to connect. A hard reset fixes this.

Any thoughts before I use them for target practice and go back to more reliable non-apple APs?

Thank you!

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A dozen Airport Expresses does not seem very "basic" in any configuration I can the very least, using them as AP's, you should have some interference going repeaters it could be worse.

Somebody will probably be able to help you, bu first you will want to explain your network in detail:

Who set this up?

How long did or does it work before locking up?

Is there a cable/DSL modem to the internet? What is that and what (router?) does it connect to ?

Are all the AP's connected thru ethernet cables or are one or more acting as repeaters?

Does the term WDS sound familiar?

Security? WEP or WDS?

How many clients overall are in the network?

Um, what's the physical layout, site description a bit of that.

Cheers, Steve

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3 quick thoughts.... I had a sort of similar problem, and got a few of those power/lamp timer things (a few bucks each), and just have it/them set to turn the power on/off a few times a day. At my sisters place we use POE and just have the main power for all the AP's cycle off and back on a few times a day... A friend of mine has those gel battery boosters (about $30 at walmart) and a cig lighter inverter ($10, plugged into the dc outlet on it) to power his linksys', so the AP power wart always has continuous/clean power from the battery/inverter, and the recharger for the battery pack is plugged into the not so clean/reliable wall power...
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Peter Pan

It was installed about six months ago by a colleague of mine, and I've had to maintain it since he left three months ago.

Basic layout. It's a 4 story facility, only 3 of which require APs at this point. There's a large central atrium spanning 3 floors, and roughly 7 studios/creative workspaces per floors, plus ten offices on one side. We've got one Airport Express per about 3 studios spread out.

The APs, originally, lasted about 2 weeks before crashing consistently. At this point, it looks like they go for a couple days and then lock up. Internet is provided by our company LAN, which is solid. Fiber backbone to our main facility, 10/100 Catalysts and 3Com switches per floor.

Each AP is connected to the network via ethernet; none function as repeaters.

We have WEP enabled on them. Not a secure option at all, true, but until they actually start enacting NAC and EAP, it'll have to do.

Clients. Overall, we probobly have between 20 and 40 people connecting to the wifi at any one time.

I do realize that interference and such is an issue as regards to overall wifi performance, but I don't understand why that would make the APs lock up. They do get somewhat warm at times, but they're designed to handle that, right? We bought most of them in one large batch, so it's possible that we've got a bad batch I suppose.

Peter...I actually like your idea, as far as power cycling them. I may have to look into that.

Any thoughts?

Thank you!

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While interference does cause some problems, I've found dirty power causes way more problems with AP's (specially in the cheap multi office buildings they make nowadays), and even short enuf power gliches to lock up anything powered by wall warts, but not mess up clocks/tv's/etc.

That was the basic idea behind using an auto booster with gell battery/inverter/charger etc (basically a poor mans UPS, about $49 see the one at walmart

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and this $19 cig lighter inverter
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If nothing else, try it on one, just to see if that fixes it or not, if so, then you can try other/cheaper solutions, and if not, at least you have some handy things for your next road/camping trip.

Reply to
Peter Pan

On 28 Feb 2007 09:19:52 -0800, "BigMike82" wrote in :

My own experience is that the Airport Express is very reliable -- I've had one particular location with two of them running 24x7 for months -- so I'm guessing you have some other problem.

How do you know for sure they are locking up? Have you tried an Ethernet connection to see what happens? Can you see the SSID broadcast? What doesn't can't connect mean? Have you tried the Apple management utility?

Also, I find it odd that all would fail the same way at the same time -- makes me think you might have power problems.

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